Industrial radioactive barite scale: suppression of radium uptake by introduction of competing ions

S Ceccarello, S Black, D Read, M E Hodson

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Incorporation of radioactive isotopes during the formation of barite mineral scale is a widespread phenomenon occurring within the oil, mining and process industries. In a series of experiments radioactive barite/celestite solid solutions (SSBarite-Celcstite) have been synthesized under controlled conditions by the counter diffusion of Ra-226, Ba2+, Sr24+ and SO42- ions through a porous medium (silica gel), to investigate inhibiting effects in Ra uptake associated with the introduction of a competing ion (Sr2+). From characterization studies, the particle size and the morphology of the crystals appear to be related to the initial [Sr]/[Ba] molar ratio of the starting solution. Typically, systems richer in Sr produce smaller sized crystals and clusters characterized by a lower degree of order. The activity introduced to the system is mainly incorporated in the crystals generated from the barite/celestite solid solution as suggested by the activity profiles of the hydrogel columns analysed by gamma-spectrometry. There is a relationship between the initial [Sr]/[Ba] molar ratio of the starting solution and the activity exhibited by the synthesized crystals. An effective inhibition of the Ra-226 uptake during formation of the crystals (SSBarite-Celestite) was obtained through the introduction of a competing ion (Sr2+): the higher the initial [Sr]/[Ba] molar ratio of the starting solution, the lower the intensity of the activity peak in the crystals. (C) 2003 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
JournalMinerals engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004

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